by Andrew Chalk
There is Tex-Mex food, and there is Mexican food. No Dalllasite seeking authentic Mexican food in their hometown need travel far nowadays. There are dozens of neighborhood Mexican places scattered across the area, each typically reflecting the food of the region where the owners originated.
There is also the adventurous Mexican food of Mexico’s big cities. Restaurants with names like Komali, Lazaranda, MesoMaya and Wild Salsa. They offer a chance to explore chilies more arcane and intriguing that Tex-Mex’s jalapeños (Komali had six different chilies on its menu the last time I was there), sample ingredients uncommon in European-inspired cooking. How about a side of cactus? How about huitlacoche growing on your corn? How about fried insects? One can also experience the exhilarating flavors and textures created when the native ingredients of Mexico are inducted into the sophisticated preparation techniques of France.
At a packed blow out six-course Third Anniversary Dinner (at which I was an invited media guest), Lazaranda reiterated that it is a master at the latter. Executive chef Antonio Marquez trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, so that really should not be too much of a surprise. A first course of Fuji apple soup with goat cheese croutons, topped with toasted walnuts and cilantro oil was as subtle and harmonious as any soup served in one of the city’s top restaurants. I am going to start a reality show which swaps dishes at smart restaurants with food from ethnic places just before service. The dinners will be quizzed at the end of the meal as to which of course was the ringer. This sophistication and elegance of this dish would have made it indistinguishable from one of Bruno Davaillon’s glorious soups at the Mansion.
Check out our photo gallery for the other courses at the meal. Porton supplied silver, reposado and añejo tequila to accompany the food.
Appetizer: Pork Chicharron Sope with a Pacifico-Tomatillo beer sauce, topped with pickled red onions
Duck Carnitas Enchiladas with dried chile sauce, fresh creama, cojita cheese and fried beets
Glazed mahi-mahi with tamarind and agave nectar, sautéed snowpeas, fava beans and pears tossed in and chili de arbol oil
Roasted beef tenderloin with a pumpkin seed crust, Black chili sauce and sweet potato